Global Iron Ore Metals Report Q4 2017
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BMI View:We have increased our iron ore price forecast to an average of USD70/tonne in 2017 compared to USD65/tonne previously as Chinese imports of the ore remain strong due to steady steel production. Long-term infrastructure projects initiated during H216-Q117 will ensure prices of iron ore remain elevated in Q317, with cooling of demand and hence prices to kick in after the 19th National Party Congress in Q417 that will refocus growth away from heavy industries to services.
We have revised upwards our iron ore forecast to an average of USD70/tonne in 2017 from our previous forecast of USD65/tonne, but maintain our downbeat iron ore forecasts for 2018-2021. China's steel demand will be supported over the remainder of 2017 by the long-term infrastructure projects initiated in 2016 and Q117. The country's real GDP grew by 6.9% y-o-y in H117, and our Country Risk team has upgraded our 2017 and 2018 real GDP forecasts to 6.6% and 6.3% from 6.3% and 5.8%, respectively (see our Country Risk analysis 'Economy To Lose Steam Despite Strong H117 Figure', July 17). In other words, growth will still slow over the coming quarters, and the waning of domestic steel demand in 2018 will eventually lead to an oversupply of steel on the global market, pushing prices downwards.